Fashion blogger merges high tech with simple living
Liraz Cohen's mission is to showcase fashion's most innovative startups.
New York City-based fashion blogger Liraz Cohen celebrates the beauty in simplicity on her site, Liri Simple Beauty. And she’s quickly become one of Israeli fashion’s biggest advocates here in the United States. Cohen uses her influence and fashion industry chops to help spread the word about innovation coming out of her home country.
“I want to show Israel’s narrative from a new and unique angle, by empowering and promoting Israeli designers, brands and startups,” Cohen tells From The Grapevine.
Cohen was born just south of the coastal city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Her first experience working in fashion was for Zara Israel, and says she found working in a creative, stylish and fast-paced industry thrilling. She was hooked.
She and her husband decided to move to the U.S. and that's when she launched her blog, Liri Simple Beauty, as an outlet for creativity and play – and to show readers simple and affordable DIY beauty and fashion.
“I had a hard time deciding which of my passions I should pursue, Israel or fashion?” says Cohen. “That’s when I decided to combine them both with a series of lectures to tell the story of Israel through the lens of fashion.”
Cohen’s speaking series has quickly taken off, and she’s now traveling across the nation hosting events at universities and cultural centers. “The lectures focus on the beauty of Israel – literally!” says Cohen. “The style, the innovative designers, the evolution of Israeli fashion and so much more.”
After immersing herself in the New York City fashion community, she began hearing from an ever-increasing number of fashion-tech startups pitching Cohen their products or ideas. “On one of my visits to Israel, I was invited to an event of the Israeli Fashion-Tech community. I didn’t even know such a community existed, let alone with over 800 members! Immediately at the end of the event, I spoke with the manager of the community, Yael Kochman, and asked her if they had a chapter in NYC. She said no, so I answered, ‘Good, then I’m going to start one.’”
This community enables Israeli innovators who deal with fashion in a technological environment to get a better understanding of the U.S. market, to network and start meaningful collaborations. “My involvement with the NY-Israel Fashion-Tech community is just one more way of supporting my mission to empower the Israeli fashion industry in every way, shape and form,” says Cohen.
Cohen gets excited when talking about some of the impressive startups she works with. “Julbox is a startup that just won our Pitch Night contest; their design platform allows nonprofessionals to easily design their own jewelry and sell them to others,” says Cohen. “'Zeekit is revolutionizing the shopping experience through virtual fitting and Bllush offers online fashion brands authentic product images pulled from social media. Say is a cool wearables social media platform and Piki is the ‘Google of fashion,’ a visual search engine for fashion items.”
As designers continue to experiment with technology, Cohen believes some of the most innovative fashion-tech is coming from Israel. “Noa Raviv’s 3D-printed collection can now be seen at the “Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” exhibit at The Met Museum,” says Cohen. “Fashion-tech startups are shaping the way we interact with the fashion industry from virtual fitting and image recognition to wearables and social shopping. Many of these companies are coming to New York City and expanding globally.”
While she may seem focused on the cutting edge, she doesn’t waver from her commitment to offering readers those simple and practical fashion hacks she’s known for. “I am a big fan of layers even in the summer,” says Cohen. “You can add a vest on top of your shirt or wear a sleeveless dress and add a loose shirt on top: It will add interest and depth to your look. And avoid synthetic fabrics this summer and wear cotton. Cotton is a great fabric that is soft and cool.”
Lindsay E. Brown is the managing editor of Eco-Chick, the web’s first ethical fashion, beauty and travel site for women. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, and Cottages & Gardens. Lindsay has been featured as a fashion and beauty expert on the Veria Living Network. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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